The Next Generation
By Josh Resnek
Gerly Adrian cuts a familiar figure in the Everett of today.
At city hall, nearly everyone knows her and to know her is to like her.
In political circles, which are still largely white and male with very few exceptions here, she is a woman in a man’s world…but it is a disappearing world she is growing into prominence in.
Last time out she lost to the rep by 180 votes in what was a very close race considering the substantial backing the rep had. Congressman Michael Capuano had incumbency and everything else that comes with being part of the small family that tends to re-elect one another from race to race.
Ayanna Pressley, who wiped out Capuano is the new sheriff in town, so to speak.
Capuano isn’t even a memory at this point and as for Ayanna, we will likely never or rarely see her here.
This being said, the world opening up to Adrian is a road already traveled by Pressley, who is now serving in Congress where Capuano had sat successfully for 20 years until she rained on his parade.
What is ahead for Adrian?
This is anyone’s guess as she hasn’t revealed to me what she is going to do.
With municipal elections coming up this year, it is anyone’s guess what she is thinking of doing, except to say, she is likely thinking of running for public office again.
It is in her blood.
To what end?
She is at that point in her development where she has paid her dues.
She is set for an election effort that she will probably win. In the next go around, women of color and ethnicity have it over older white men still going through the motions in a rapidly changing city.
It isn’t only the city that is changing as the old folks die and families move out, and new residents from all over the world move in.
The demographic is changing.
Involvement is changing.
Priorities among voters are morphing here and in such a way that the sure political thing is no longer the winning political thing.
This foretells an uncertain future for everyone right now serving in public office here.
Not everyone is going to be swept away in a wave.
It is kind of a tidal wave thing that is happening.
First the water goes out so far on the Mystic River that we can see the bottom all the way to Chelsea, and then comes the tsunami that no one could have predicted.
I believe Adrian and other aggressive women are going to demand their rightful place at city hall in the next two election cycles.
When the mayor comes up for election again, and he seeks office again, he will be challenged, and most likely by a Gerly Adrian type or even Gerly herself.
That’s what’s in the cards here and in many communities like ours in the Greater Boston area where the Ayanna Pressleys of this world have shown that lightning strikes even when facing a 20 year veteran of the Congress.
Think about it, there are so few women in politics in this city.
Councilor Rosa DiFlorio and School Committeewoman Millie Cardello are the only two presently serving in government here.
Again, with municipal elections coming up, I am predicting changes, marked by more women, and women of color and ethnicity running for office, and getting elected.
Even in Everett this is bound to happen sooner rather than later.
What is a Personnel Question?
Lately, and whenever there is a calamity as there was last week when a department head was finally fired or resigned after being told to resign by the mayor, the response of nearly every of cial working for the city is this: “This can’t be talked about. Its a personnel issue.”
Mind you, the person released recently was basically a no show employee, a friend of the mayor’s, given wide latitude to do whatever she wanted, which translated into rarely if ever coming to her job.
Last week, when she was fired or resigned – and I’m sure she was told to resign which is exactly like being red where I come from – the complaints had been numerous about her exploits for the department she led. In other words, everyone who matters in this administration understood she received a nice salary, rarely came in, faked her credentials, and presided over a department that services thousands until it was in a state of turmoil and chaos.
That’s everyone. Everyone inside the mayor’s office, his lawyers, everyone understood and talked about what was happening.
There was even talk of fighting among the mayor’s staff as some of his employees tried to tell him the situation was getting out of control.
Finally, the mayor had to act but he didn’t want to act because the enemy of his administration was a friend.
When he acted, his tendency was to line up his paid troops, the city solicitor, the assistant city solicitor, the Human Resources director and others who all recited the same mantra when paraded before the city council which was seeking answers.
“Personnel matter,” they all said in a self satisfying tone of voice that seemed to say, “go away please. We have a secret to hide.”
“Can’t talk about it,” they said over and over until they almost believed that anyone in their right mind would believe them.
That’s what allegiance to the mayor and a paycheck buys from many people who fear losing their jobs.
When can it be said that the administration failed, that a no-show has left or was fired, that someone else who might actually do the job has replaced the deadbeat and on and on?
Doesn’t happen at Everett City Hall.
Hiding all the problems is the protocol.
Admitting nothing happened or that anything is wrong and then trying to cover it up.
That’s how its done for the administration.
The Assistant Treasurer disappeared two weeks ago without a bang but with a whimper.
The head of the fleet operations, whatever that is, was apparently fired last week.
He was allegedly another no show.
How can I know this? How can hundreds of people know this? How can at least two former employees claim they were abused – sexually harassed, bullied, degraded – and be readying to sue the city and the mayor calls out his troops to deride the claims and to make fun of a councilor asking questions or of a newspaper reporting such things that are true?
How does this happen?
More importantly, why doesn’t anyone seem to care?
Last, how do these fakers live with themselves saying out of one side of their mouth they can’t talk about anything because it is a personnel issue while out of the other side of their mouths they are laughing and deriding a councilor asking questions?
Hiding behind such a false wall is a big lie. The shame of it all.
The Revitalization of Everett Square
The mayor doesn’t know how to pull off the revitalization of Everett Square but he is right to try.
Some councilors said they were worried that taller buildings would create shadows in the square when they should have been shouting to the high heavens that something must be done to rescue itself from years of neglect and a lack of interest in redeveloping it.
One councilor said as though he was exhausted that “we’ve talked about this for almost 2 hours,” as though he had participated in marathon lasting a week or a month.
A weeks worth of discussions would have been the right thing to Dom, including a walk around the square with several urban planners not just one when had no idea what he was talking about when it came to the law.
The mayor couldn’t wait two weeks. He gave the house away to the council, celebrated his victory, and left.
He won’t be seen now for a while, not until there is a mandatory meeting he must attend.
Only those he barks his orders to, whom he pays, whose jobs are always on the line.